Clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman channels his improvisational ethos into dark, turbulent directions | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman channels his improvisational ethos into dark, turbulent directions


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New York clarinetist and sound artist Jeremiah Cymerman has developed a multipronged artistic practice over the years, working his mixture of improvisational exploration and pure sound into a variety of disparate projects. His curiosity is on display regularly in his terrific, broad-minded podcast 5049 (a name shared by his label), which has run for more than 110 episodes and features discussions with folks like jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, new-music cellist Michael Nicolas, art-rock drummer Greg Fox, and singer Amirtha Kidambi. But though his experimental range is similarly wide, he tends to submerge himself in a dark intensity altered by electronics and postproduction. With the trio Pale Horses he creates a kind of turbulent chamber music, his upper-register clarinet lines caressed and battered by the viscous cello lines of Christopher Hoffman and the dynamic kit drumming of Brian Chase; in the free-improvisation trio Bloodmist he conjures an ambience-flooded death-metal vibe with bassist Toby Driver and guitarist/electronics purveyor Mario Diaz de Leon. Still, I’m betting his 2014 album World of Objects (5049) will provide the template for tonight’s solo performance: it’s a live improvised concert recorded at the Stone in NYC with saxophonist Evan Parker and trumpeter Nate Wooley that sounds largely as it was played despite Cymerman’s electronically fried clarinet and subsequent tweaking of frequencies and noises in the mix. Nothing lessens his attuned interaction with his partners—he’s less busy than they are, and his lines often function as bonding agents, his tone an acidic cry that melds Parker’s circular breathing with Wooley’s gnarled flurries. Following his solo performance, which will include music from a forthcoming solo album called Decay of the Angel, he’ll be interviewed by Ken Vandermark.   v

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